Baptist Distinctives -- By: Felix Runquist
CenQ 3:2 (Summer 1960) p. 21
Field Director Inter-Mountain Conservative Baptist Fellowship
An Introduction To Baptist Distinctives
By Baptist distinctives is meant those principles laid down in the Bible upon which a church ought to operate. As such they are not to be confused with a doctrinal statement. For instance, our Lutheran friends believe in the virgin birth of Christ and so do we; they believe in a blood atonement and so do we; the Baptist churches are thus not distinct from others in doctrinal statements, but when it comes to the basic principles upon which our lives and our churches are governed, we do find some real distinctives.
Baptist distinctives are then those principles that are found in the Bible and have made us different from the other denominations. Baptists do not always call these various principles by the same name nor do they divide them at the same point but as to the content there is agreement.
I. The Bible Is The Only Rule For Faith And Practice
Introduction: Most churches, cults, and isms rest for their rule for faith and practice upon one of the following:
1. A book written by man, either used to take the place of the Bible or used to explain it, or used as an addition to it.
2. Their founder, to whom they look back for every decision and rule.
3. Popes, cardinals, and councils.
4. Reason, science, and convenience.
5. Emotional thrills and esthetic appeal or personal experience.
But we take the Bible for our only rule for faith and practice because:
I. It was written for the churches:
See Matt. 16:18, the founding of the local church; Matt. 18:17, discipline in the local church; and Acts for the pattern for the establishing of local churches.
All of the other books in the New Testament were written within the framework of the local church aside from James, II Peter, II John, and Jude. Note: Romans 16:4, 5, 16; I Cor. 1:2; II Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:2; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 1:1; Col. 4:16; I Thess. 1:1; II Thess. 1:1;
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